Highs, Lows and Newtons

Well, well, well.

Another week rolls by and it’s blogtime again.

Oh, well, I suppose it shows that life is, as ever, busy.

So just what is it that fills up an FG week?
Be welcome, Gentle Reader, and read on…


We haven’t been out and about as much this week – at least not to folk clubs. We only managed to get out to play once, which was on Monday to the Ship at Low Newton.

Low Newton is not a place you can get to by accident, you have to have confidence that at the end of the road, there is a something. Low Newton sits on the coast between Seahouses and Dunstanborough and is, to put it mildly, out of the way. It is also idyllic; a small square of cottages squashed round a seafront village green with an old fashioned (and that is putting it mildly) pub jammed into the top right hand corner. It is lovely there and very welcoming, even to the extent of warmly welcoming wandering singer-songwriters.

That is because, as with many of the more rural Northumbrian gigs, this place is largely a tunes session. There is a rule of thumb for Singer Songwriters, which is to use the number of squeezable instruments in the room as an indicator as to how you are likely to be received – in this case, you could have squeezed one wall of the pub and the whole place would have responded with a flatulent low C. We need not have worried – the night alternated between sets of tunes and songs and the organisers were very welcoming. FG got two and we even managed to get the place bellowing along to ‘The Guiding Light’ so all is well. We left a bit early as the journey back to Durham involved sleds, huskies and a couple of trusty Sherpas.

The only other playing gig was a trip up to Alnwick on Saturday evening to join Fiona Elcoat for her radio show; Big Boots and Celtic Roots. This show is very popular and the Facebook based Social Club was in full throat throughout the evening. Fiona has a great approach and made the evening very easy for us – we managed eight or nine songs in the three hours, plus plenty of chat, banter and general daftness. This show is available live on t’internet and we think the girl done brilliant.


The pics this week are from us the Wrinkly Wroadies and also courtesy of MySpace, which decided to re-release loads of pics we’d put up years ago. Many Acoustic Chums to be spotted in these photos from 5 or 6 years ago – some no longer with us.


Other than that, it has been all hands to the creative pumps as bookings start to roll in for Beat The Drum, which is our new show, based round some of our existing WW1 material, plus new songs, as well as all the inbetweeny bits, videos, letters, narrative etc. These new bookings mean that the new songs have to be polished and the presentation side all completed and made nice and shiny too. The new finishing song is called “The Wall” and reflects on the number of men that are remembered simply by their names written on the walls of war memorials. I haven’t been able to get the chorus out of my head, so hopefully that’s a good sign.

We are very please to announce a number of gigs for Newcastle City Libraries. Pleased to get them of course, and also very pleased as two (at least) will be in the Newcastle Central Library Bewick Suite. Did you know the library had a fantastic staged venue within its book lined walls?

Me neither.

6 August Stories with Strings Newcastle Central Library Bewick Suite 6.30pm

17 December Beat the Drum Central Library Bewick Suite 6.30pm

More dates tbc


Chairman Dave[1] has been very busy lately. The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs has been carrying on as usual, and carrying on is a good way to describe the way it does things. Chairman Dave has managed to have his own way (as usual) and the last couple of guests included an ensemble of melodeon players who played tunes from Holland. All the tunes were in Flemish. Then there was an unaccompanied singer[2] who sang songs of rural Wiltshire – they were in Flemish too. However Dave has relented enough to pressure from the younger contingent[3] within the club and has booked an act that features a guitar. It is unclear if anyone will be allowed to play it.


And so, as the Venerable and Aged Folkie of Fate is finally called to The Great Folk Club in the Sky, he arrives to the news it’s a guest night and there will be an extra raffle, and I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’


[1] New readers start here: Chairman Dave is the cheerful dictator in charge of The Kings Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club which meets every Thursday in the back room unless the Leek Show is on. It is open to all and is a traditional folk club. That means it is run almost entirely on a diet of nepotism and cheery corruption and that singer songwriters are tolerated, then eaten.

[2] Because he was very smelly.

[3] Fred and Ether Barnaby from the house along the street. They recently celebrated their fifteenth anniversary. Of retiring.


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